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Journal archives for February 2019

February 27, 2019

Uh-oh - the weather isn't cooperating! Schedule change!!

It looks like the weather for the scheduled March 3 iNat outing is going to be unsuitable for outdoor activities - by my standards, at least! So, I'm rescheduling the Stewart Creek Wetlands visit to Friday, March 1, instead of Sunday, March 3. It will still be 1:00-3:00.

Posted on February 27, 2019 22:01 by lisa281 lisa281 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 02, 2019

Privets in the sanctuary, oh my!

We had six Master Naturalists working out in the Heard Sanctuary today, pulling up about 600-700 linear feet of barbed wire in the sanctuary. It was actually more fun than it might sound, since the weather was good, the company of other Master Naturalists is always great, and we got to see some interesting plants, insects, and fungi. We did get into a spirited (but not heated) discussion of the various types of privet growing out there. Parviz has been working hard on getting all the privets out of the sanctuary, but today we were working in a section that he hasn’t yet reached, so we had several samples of each species. I felt pretty confident about Chinese Privet and Quihoui Privet, except how to pronounce Quihoui (kwee-WHO-ee, according to today’s research.) I wasn’t at all sure about Japanese Privet, though, as I’ve been calling all privets with large leaves Glossy Privet. After an hour or so in my FNCT, here’s what I’ve come up with:

All of the privets growing here are introduced invasives which have escaped from cultivation. They are shrubs or small trees, evergreen or semi-deciduous, and have opposite leaves.

Two common types of privet have glabrous twigs and large leaf blades, 2.5-6" long. These are both evergreen.
• The first of these is Glossy Privet, Ligustrum lucidum. It can grow to be a tree up to 30 ft. tall, or occasionally taller. Glossy Privet leaves are large, 3-6" long, with 6-8 or more distinct veins on each side of the midrib. The leaves are glossy and hairless. Glossy Privet leaves taper to a narrow point and the petiole (stalk) of the larger leaves is up to 3/4" long. In the flowers, the tube of the corolla equals the lobes in length.

• The second of the large-leaf privets is Japanese Privet, L. japonicum. It is a smaller shrub or small tree, usually not much more than 10 ft. tall. The leaf is somewhat smaller than that of Glossy Privet, up to about 2.5 -4" long. Leaves have only about 4-5 indistinct veins on each side of the midrib. The leaf shape is less pointed than that of L. lucidum, and it has a shorter petiole, usually less than 1/2" long.

Two common types of privet have pubescent (fuzzy/hairy) twigs and small leaves. These are semi-deciduous, evergreen in mild winters.
• The most widespread invader is Chinese Privet, Ligustrum sinense. It is a shrub growing to about 12 ft. tall. Its leaves are 1 - 2.5" long and usually hairy along the midrib on the underside. The leaf shape is a rounded diamond or an egg shape. The flowers are in compact clusters, with the corolla tube shorter than the lobes.
---A similar privet is Ligustrum vulgare, or Common Privet. It is native to the Mediterranean area, but it is
cultivated here, and possibly escapes. It is very similar to L. sinense, but the leaves are hairless on the
underside.
• The other small-leaf privet is Quihou Privet, L. quihoui. The leaves are 1 - 2.5" long, dark green, usually oblanceolate (teardrop shaped, narrowest near the stem) and hairless on the underside. The leaf base tapers all the way to the twig, appearing to have almost no petiole. Flowers are in whorl-like, separated clusters at tips of branches and on paired side branchlets, forming into loose clusters. The corolla tube is about equal to the lobes.

I happened to find a very handy key to the privets at Texasinvasives.org. It's a one page pdf, with pictures, and it's even better than my journal. Here's the link:

https://www.texasinvasives.org/invaders/CS_Resources/PrivetKey.pdf

Posted on February 02, 2019 23:09 by lisa281 lisa281 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Privets in the sanctuary, oh my!

We had six Master Naturalists working out in the Heard Sanctuary today, pulling up about 600-700 linear feet of barbed wire in the sanctuary. It was actually more fun than it might sound, since the weather was good, the company of other Master Naturalists is always great, and we got to see some interesting plants, insects, and fungi. We did get into a spirited (but not heated) discussion of the various types of privet growing out there. Parviz has been working hard on getting all the privets out of the sanctuary, but today we were working in a section that he hasn’t yet reached, so we had several samples under discussion. I felt pretty confident about Chinese Privet and Quihoui Privet, except how to pronounce Quihoui (kwee-WHO-ee, according to today’s research.)

EDIT: after some discussion (see comments section below,) I’ve settled on KYOO-ee as the pronunciation I’m going to try to stick with. (But I won’t argue if you want to say it some other way!)
Some people were calling one large specimen Japanese Privet, though, and I’d have called it Glossy Privet. None of them knew the scientific name, so I couldn’t figure out if it was a different species or just a different common name. I’ve been calling all the large-leaved privets I’ve seen Ligustrum lucidum (Glossy Privet), but there is a L. japonicum, so if we had it in the sanctuary, I wanted to know. (Most everyone elsewas of the opinion that, no matter what we called it, it needed to come out, so what did it matter? But inquiring minds need to know!) After an hour or so in my FNCT, here’s what I’ve come up

All of the privets growing here are introduced invasives which have escaped from cultivation. They are shrubs or small trees, evergreen or semi-deciduous, and have opposite leaves. (The opposite leaf attachment is the first thing to check for if you suspect privet. See more about oppositely-attached leaves below.*)

Two common types of privet have glabrous twigs and large leaf blades, 2.5-6" long. These are both evergreen.
• The first of these is Glossy Privet, Ligustrum lucidum. It can grow to be a tree up to 30 ft. tall, or occasionally taller. Glossy Privet leaves are large, 3-6" long, with 6-8 or more distinct veins on each side of the midrib. The leaves are glossy and hairless. Glossy Privet leaves taper to a narrow point and the petiole (stalk) of the larger leaves is up to 3/4" long. In the flowers, the tube of the corolla equals the lobes in length.

• The second of the large-leaf privets is Japanese Privet, L. japonicum. It is a smaller shrub or small tree, usually not much more than 10 ft. tall. The leaf is somewhat smaller than that of Glossy Privet, up to about 2.5 -4" long. Leaves have only about 4-5 indistinct veins on each side of the midrib. The leaf shape is less pointed than that of L. lucidum, and it has a shorter petiole, usually less than 1/2" long. (*New note: according to texasinvasives.org: Japanese Privet does not tend to escape cultivation, so maybe I haven't been wrong in calling the wild specimens of large-leaved privets I've seen Glossy Privet.)

Two other common types of privet have pubescent (fuzzy/hairy) twigs and small leaves. These are semi-deciduous, evergreen in mild winters.
• The most widespread invader is Chinese Privet, Ligustrum sinense . It is a shrub growing to about 12 ft. tall. Its leaves are 1 - 2.5" long and usually hairy along the midrib on the underside. The leaf shape is a rounded diamond or an egg shape. The flowers are in compact clusters, with the corolla tube shorter than the lobes.

• The other small-leaf privet is Quihou Privet, L. quihoui. The leaves are 1 - 2.5" long, dark green, usually oblanceolate (teardrop shaped, narrowest near the stem) and hairless on the underside. The leaf base tapers all the way to the twig, appearing to have almost no petiole. Flowers are in whorl-like, separated clusters at tips of branches and on paired side branchlets, forming into loose clusters. The corolla tube is about equal to the lobes.

After I finished the above, I happened to find a couple of handy guides to the privets at Texasinvasives.org. So I guess I could have saved myself the trouble, but I don't think I'll ever again get mixed up about these four privets! Each of these is a one page pdf: the first has pictures, the second a chart with more information.

https://www.texasinvasives.org/invaders/CS_Resources/PrivetKey.pdf
https://www.texasinvasives.org/invaders/Trainer_Resources/Ligustrum.pdf

*Privets are one of the few trees/shrubs around here (North Central TX) that have oppositely-attached leaves. Here's the acronym we use for remembering the most common woody plants with oppositely-attached leaves:
DAMPeR:
D - dogwood (in North Central TX, that would be Roughleaf dogwood.)
A - Ashes (around here, Green Ash, White Ash, Texas Ash)
M - Maple (around here, only Ash-leaved Maple, aka Boxelder Maple, or just Boxelder)
P - Privets
R - Rusty Blackhaw

Ashes and Boxelder both have compound leaves, so those should be easy to rule out. Rusty Blackhaw leaves have toothed margins, and privets have smooth margins, so that should be easy to rule out, too. Roughleaf dogwood does have smooth margins and simple, oppositely-attached leaves, like the privets. Dogwood leaves are thinner, and ours have a rough texture - hence the name!

Two other plants whose leaves resemble privets in shape and texture are the hollies: possumhaw holly (Ilex decidua) and yaupon holly (I. vomitoria). Just remember to check for the leaf attachment. Hollies have alternately attached leaves, rather than the oppositely-attached leaves of privets.


BACK TO: A Collection of Helpful Identification Guides

Posted on February 02, 2019 23:08 by lisa281 lisa281 | 3 observations | 11 comments | Leave a comment

February 09, 2019

iNat Outings Coming in March!

Beginning in March, 2019, our chapter will offer several opportunities for small group iNaturalist outings! The plan is for a small group to meet at a designated venue (park, sanctuary, vacant lot, etc.) and spend a couple of hours surveying the area, recording as many species as possible. At least a couple of experienced iNat users will be present, so this is a great opportunity for new users to get some "guided practice." We will be collecting useful data for science, while at the same time learning to identify local flora and fauna. As an added bonus, exploring nature with other people is lots of fun! These iNat outings will be on the chapter calendar https://txmn.org/bptmn/bptmn-calendar/?tribe_event_display=month. We'll also announce them here, with additional details (where to park, etc.) So check back often!

Posted on February 09, 2019 00:55 by lisa281 lisa281 | 2 comments | Leave a comment

February 11, 2019

March iNaturalist Outings

We've got outings scheduled in Frisco, Plano, McKinney, and Fairview. We've scheduled two on weekdays, and two on week-ends. Bring your smartphone or a camera.

Weather can be fickle this time of year, so check here for any last-minute scheduling changes. (We won't go out if it's raining or extremely cold.)
Here's the iNaturalist Outings scheduled for March:

• Sunday, March 3, 1:00 – 3:00pm
Stewart Creek Wetlands in Frisco : 4400 Teel Pkwy, Frisco, TX 75034
Led by Lisa Travis
Details: Meet at the south end of Teel Parkway, just south of Lebanon Drive. Parking is roadside on Teel.

• Thursday, March 7, 1:00 – 3:00pm
Bonnie Wenk Park: 2996 Virginia Pkwy, McKinney, TX 75071
Led by Valerie Dalton

• Sunday, March 24, 1:00 – 3:00pm
Plano Legacy Trail: 7711 San Jacinto Pl, Plano, TX 75024
Led by Jean Suplick
Details: Meet at the medical office plaza at 7711 San Jacinto Pl, Plano, TX 75024. Park along the back side of the plaza. We'll gather at the northern end of the parking lot. If you come late, walk down over the embankment to the paved trail and head left toward Preston Road to catch up with us.
Plano trail maps can be found here: https://www.plano.gov/946/Trail-Maps

• Thursday, March 28, 1:00 – 3:00pm
Beaver Run Park: 110 Elisabeth Way, Fairview, TX 75069
Led by Janice James

Posted on February 11, 2019 23:48 by lisa281 lisa281 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 20, 2019

Helpful journals, guides, tips from iNat users

There are so many wonderful resources that people have created and posted on iNaturalist, but they aren't always easy to find. Even worse, I can't always find my way BACK to them after finding them in the first place. My understanding is that eventually people can add links to their guides, etc. on Taxon pages, but we don't have that feature yet.

In the meantime, this is a random collection of helpful journal posts, tips, species guides, etc. that I have found. They are in no particular order, and it's a work in progress:

From @nathantaylor

https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/nathantaylor/14848-texas-species-of-dandelion-as-near-as-i-can-tell
-Crotons
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/nathantaylor/12462-croton-list-of-central-and-north-central-texas

Several from @pfau_tarleton

Several helpful ones from @bouteloua

Two by @lanechaffin (and he has others, too: check out his journal posts)

This one on identifying some often-confused trees with compound leaves

These are the ones I've written so far:

Privets
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/lisa281/21289-privets-in-the-sanctuary-oh-my

Cedar Elm or Winged Elm
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/lisa281/20574-the-elm-project-part-3-cedar-elm-vs-winged-elm

American Elm or Slippery Elm
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/lisa281/20573-the-elm-project-part-2-american-elm-and-slippery-elm

Introduced Elms: Chinese Elm and Siberian Elm
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/lisa281/20358-the-elm-project-part-1

Frogfruits
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/lisa281/20234-turkey-tangle-frogfruit

Sesbania, Riverhemps, and Bladder Pod
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/lisa281/20233-sesbania-riverhemps

Find a taxa
ie https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/62832-Sapindus for Soapberries

Posted on February 20, 2019 16:00 by lisa281 lisa281 | 2 comments | Leave a comment

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